Cuban-American lawmakers this week criticized the Cuban government for subjecting many of its people to starvation conditions on the island, while Fidel Castro's son Antonio gets to live the life of a playboy during a vacation on the Mediterranean Sea.
The lawmakers were reacting to recent reports that show Antonio Castro hanging out with his friends on a yacht and in a posh hotel in Turkey.
One report showed Antonio Castro living it up on a shady dock with several of his friends.
Another report from late June said Castro's bodyguards attacked some photographers in the district of Bodrum, Turkey. "Staying at a five-star hotel in Bodrum, Castro went to have dinner at a restaurant Wednesday night with his 12-person accompaniment, including Turkish friends and bodyguards," that report said.
Courtesy of the Daily Sabah
"While the people of Cuba are denied the most basic of freedoms, are forced to live in extreme poverty, and lack food and medical attention, the Castro family enjoys lavish luxury vacations without a thought for the languishing Cuban citizens," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. "The Castro dynasty has amassed great wealth that it has stolen from the people of Cuba and will now continue to reap the benefits of the Obama administration's concessions that will fill Castro's coffers."
Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., another Cuban-American lawmaker who is the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, said he agrees that the Castro family has fleeced the Cuban people.
"The Cuban people are suffering daily without access to proper food or basic necessities while the Castro children sun themselves on a 50 foot yacht surrounded by the wealth they gained on the backs of poor Cuban people," he said.
Courtesy of therealcuba.com
Many Republicans and even some Democrats have criticized President Obama's attempt to reach out to Cuba, even though Cuba has made no promises to boost human rights or ease harsh restrictions on political discourse in Cuba.
To reach a deal allowing both countries to re-establish diplomatic relations with each other, the Obama administration had to take Cuba off the state sponsors of terrorism list. And on Monday, Cuba's foreign minister said further progress will depend on the U.S. giving back the Guantanamo Bay naval base to Cuba and ending its trade embargo.
Foreign Minster Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla also said the U.S. shouldn't be looking for changes in Cuba at all.
"The president of the United States can continue using his executive powers to pay a significant contribution to the dismantling of the blockade — not to pursue changes in Cuba, something that falls under our exclusive sovereignty — but to attend to the interests of U.S. citizens," he said as he stood next to Secretary of State John Kerry.